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5 professions for altruistic people

Are you living to work or working to live? If you’re over your current job and want to leave the corporate world to pursue your passion for helping others, there are plenty of industries who are in need of extra staff. For wherever you want to take your career, you can always focus on improving the lives of others.

5 professions for altruistic people

Thursday June 28, 2018,

4 min Read


When students meet with career advisors they are often informed of the earning potential of specific areas of employment. Advisors tend to emphasize the economic or material benefits of careers, often overlooking the ways that employment in more altruistic professions can enhance the meaning and fulfilment we find in our work. If you’re looking for more from your work, there are many possibilities for pursuing a career that will bring you out of the office and allow you to enrich your level of community engagement.

Elementary School Teacher

On average, elementary school teachers earn a modest $43,697 per year. Those that choose a career in elementary education show a deep passion for their work and a strong commitment to the future. Elementary school educators realize that the success of any community starts with the health and happiness of its children. They spend long hours in and outside the classroom helping students develop the tools necessary to succeed in life.

Jobs in elementary education are highly demanding and require much creative energy, often with limited support or recognition. Successful educators work to put the needs of their students above their own and help build the foundations for a promising tomorrow.

Environmental Engineers

A growing, but largely unknown subfield of engineering is environmental engineering. Environmental engineers help companies mitigate the impacts of development on the environment while showing a specific concern for the health of broader communities. Although many engineers in this field work in emerging sectors of the economy like wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy, environmental engineers are employed by a wide range of companies to study and reduce potentially hazardous impacts associated with industrial processes.

Environmental engineers draw on a strong background in chemistry and biology, show a deep concern for the broader impacts of their work, and spend many hours in the field collecting soil samples. They study microorganisms in the water supply and create solutions designed to prevent or offset pollution, just to name a few of their key responsibilities.

On average, environmental engineers earn markedly less than other fields in engineering, making this a field only for those truly looking to make a difference.

Urban Planner

The basic purpose of an urban planner is to design plans for land use and development. But urban planners are also deeply involved in helping to cultivate and grow communities through design practices meant to improve the livability of urban and residential areas. Urban planners develop designs for accommodating growth, sustainable housing solutions and parks, and make important contributions to community revitalization efforts.

Their work can be seen in the design of city infrastructure, transportation initiatives, and improved housing conditions, all of which contribute greatly to helping improve our lives.

Disability Care

Of the professions listed here, those that pursue a career in this field are among the most deeply committed in terms of relative time and investment in the communities where they work. Disability care describes a wide range of professions including community rehabilitation aides, support services program specialists, habilitation aides, health care coordinators, case managers and therapists.

The work of a care professional is multi-faceted. Professionals work directly with clients to help secure housing, food assistance and other forms of supplemental support. Advocates provide physical therapy, secure access to mobility resources, and work with community partners to promote improved living conditions.

If your heart is set on working with people with disabilities as your life's vocation, you can begin helping while finishing your education. For example, in Australia, Open Colleges have partnered with Action for Children and the Aged (ACATA) Trust Australia, offering you the opportunity to complete your work placement hours in remote Fijian communities.

Public Safety

Those pursuing a career in related public safety fields, namely police officers, firemen and emergency services operators, find great reward in ensuring the safety of the people in their communities. Police officers and firemen work long hours under often challenging conditions, risking their own lives to protect the lives of others.

Although the pay may be low in comparison with other fields, a career in public safety can be profoundly enriching and purposeful.